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June 3 - June 9, 2013

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Vol. 40 No. 23 • The Journal For Community News, Business & The Arts • insightnews.com

Zimmerman’s team will seek to discredit Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman

Trayvon Martin

By George E. Curry NNPA Editor-in-Chief Whether George Zimmerman goes on trial as scheduled June 10 for killing Trayvon Martin or he gets the 6-week delay requested by his lawyer, it is clear from court filings that part of the defense strategy involves depicting the 17-year-old dead

Black youth as a troublemaker and pot head. Martin, unarmed, was shot to death in Feb. 2012 by Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman, in Sanford, Fla. Martin, a Miami native, was visiting the area in central Florida with his father at the time and was returning to a residence after walking to a nearby convenience store. Zimmerman, 29, has tried to portray Martin as the aggressor, despite ignoring instructions from a police dispatcher that he not follow the youth in the rain. He has pleaded guilty to seconddegree murder. Mark M. O’Mara, cocounsel for Zimmerman, filed a motion last Thursday seeking court sanctions against the State Attorney’s office for not turning over evidence that he said might help Zimmerman’s defense. According to the motion, the State of Florida had ignored previous defense filings seeking any evidence that might reflect favorably on Zimmerman or negatively on Martin in preparation for going to trial. In his petition, O’Mara said, “The State was fully aware at that time that there was information resident on Trayvon Martin’s cell phone, including pictures of Trayvon Martin in possession of at least one weapon, pictures of marijuana plants, pictures of Trayvon Martin smoking marijuana, pictures of marijuana blunts, and texts discussing, securing or purchasing firearms, and bragging about being

TRIAL TURN TO 2

Harry Colbert, Jr.

United Way Worldwide U.S. President Stacey Stewart (left) discusses solutions to poverty with Chanda Smith Baker, president and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities, following a luncheon held last week at the Greater Twin Cities United Way in downtown Minneapolis.

Addressing educational hurdles first step to eradicating poverty By Harry Colbert, Jr. Contributing Writer According to the Greater Twin Cities United Way, more than 600,000 people in this region are living in poverty. With numbers such as this

so dire, area civic and business leaders have expressed a sense of urgency to address the issue and implement solutions that will drive that number down. To that effort, several leaders met with the newly minted U.S. president of the United Way Worldwide, Stacey Stewart.

Stewart, who is the first to hold the organizational post of U.S. president, was in town this past week meeting with area leaders. The United way U.S. president said to eradicate poverty; the first step is to address educational hurdles facing the nation’s poor.

“In Washington, D.C., 40 percent of the adult population can barely read,” said Stewart who was the chief diversity officer and vice president for the office of community and

POVERTY TURN TO 2

Black teen birth rate falls 60 percent in 10 years By Maya Rhodan NNPA Washington Correspondent WASHINGTON (NNPA) – A new report by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows that the teen birth rate for African Americans has declined by 60 percent between 1991 and 2011 – a rate 10 percent greater than the overall dip in teen birth rates. Over the past decade, the national teen birth rate has declined from 31 out of every 1,000 girls between 15-19 giving birth in 2011, compared to 61 girls per 1,000 in 1991. From 2007-2011, the national teen birth rate declined by 25 percent with Hispanic teens experiencing the largest decline of 34 percent. In 2007, the Hispanic teen birth rate was 21 percent higher than the Black teen birth rate, in 2011 it was only 4 percent higher.

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Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, attributes these declines to stronger teen pregnancy prevention education and higher rates of contraception use among teens that have sex, but also the fact that many teens are deciding to delay sex altogether. “We know that schools play an essential role in supporting adolescent health,” Koh wrote in a blog post on Huffington Post. com “Research tells us that the longer children remain in school and engaged in learning, the better their life-long health.” Teens who have babies in high school, on the other hand, are less likely to attend or complete college, are more likely to rely on public assistance, and are more likely to live in poverty into adulthood, according to Koh. The majority of states saw a significant decline in birth rates— with 34 states across the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest reporting declines in the Black teen birth

rate by at least 20 percent. In eight states – Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, Utah, Rhode Island, and Alaska – Black teen birth rate declined by 30 percent or more between 20072011. Earlier this year, a Guttmacher Institute report suggested that the decline in birth rate could be attributed to the abortion rate among teens. According to the report, African American teens had an abortion rate of 41 out of 1000 in 2008. Bill Albert, spokesperson for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, disputes the report’s findings. “A common misunderstanding is that people think the teen birth rate is going down because the abortion rate is going up,” Albert said. “The good news is all three rates—teen pregnancy, teen abortion, and teen birth rates—are

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Business

Education

Community

Health

Why would you do that?

Students examine Cassellius success story

You are the programmer

The LADDER: Building the next generation of healthcare providers in North Minneapolis

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Page 2 • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Insight News

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Twins a lot more fun to watch Nobody Asked Me

By Fred Easter Nobody asked me, but early returns of the Twins 2013 season suggest they’ll be a little better this year than they were in the past two. I didn’t say, a whole lot better. GM, Terry Ryan, has engineered some acquisitions and the minor leagues have contributed, as well. I’m not saving up for World Series tickets, but this edition of the Target Fielders is a lot more

fun to watch. Sadly, they’ll be maddening to watch a bit too often, as well. When the season started, Twins officials were saying, “This lineup will score runs, hopefully the pitching will hold up.� Here’s what I think I see. Pitching: A bit stronger than last year. That may be what an old friend of mine called, “damning with faint praise.� The subtraction of Matt Capps and Carl Pavano will strengthen any staff. This group will not likely dominate, but they will turn in a scattering of very well pitched games. Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey are established major league pitchers. Scott Diamond is an established major league pitcher, but he got a late start on the season because of an injury, so I don’t think he’s at full

strength yet. Vance Worley is an established major leaguer too, but now he’s going to have to prove that in Rochester. Soon, we’ll get to add Samuel Deduno and Cole DeVries and there are intriguing names in Rochester, besides Vance Worley, but the rest of the league is not cowering in anticipation. When half of the bullpen is not pitching every day, it’ll be fine. Closer Glen Perkins can dominate. Jared Burton will be fine in the 8th inning. There are arms, but too much of the staff “pitches to contact.� It’ll be nice when we get a few more flamethrowers. Defense: A work in progress. The defense is a bit disappointing so far but very promising. Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier have excellent

middle infield skills, but they are not established major leaguers, and therefore prone to youthful lapses of concentration and attempts to do too much. Trevor Plouffe, hurt now, seems prone to thinking about hitting home runs when he should be thinking defense. Jamey Carroll is a gem; at bat and anywhere in the field and Eduardo Escobar was a great addition. The outfield, with the exception of young Aaron Hicks, is designed to hit rather than turn potential doubles into long outs. Chris Parmelee shows real promise, but neither he nor Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia resemble gazelles. Happily, they all can throw. Until this infield jells into a cohesive unit, they will be prone to make great plays

and botch routine ones. Offense: These guys will hit. Some of them will even hit this year. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Willingham are real hitters, which is not to say slump proof. Hicks, Parmelee and Arcia are going to be dangerous hitters. Pedro Florimon, Dozier, Carroll, Escobar and Wilkin Ramirez are piranhas. Ryan Doumit and Plouffe are muskie. They all can hurt you, but, less so, in critical situations. The bench is much stronger than last year, offensively and defensively. Jamey Carroll deserves special mention. Excellent defense wherever he’s put and a quality at bat every time. Coaching: Manager Ron Gardenhire has been masterful keeping everybody in the

lineup enough to prevent rust and go with, you should pardon the expression, “hot bats.� I do wonder why Florimon hasn’t been tried at leadoff. He can hit and steal bases. I’m really not impressed with Pitching Coach Rick Anderson. His best position seems to be friend to Gardenhire. We seem to give up on too many pitchers who are successful at their next stops. The major weakness in this group seems to me to be a belief in itself as a team and individually. Good teams feel they can reel in good opponents in the late innings. This group seems to be worrying that it will be reeled in. In a few years it’ll learn how to stand on the other teams’ throats. Until then, we’ll lead the league for five innings or so.

Black students flocking to STEM fields, yet businesses pushing for more temporary workers By William Spriggs Over last weekend, young people watched or read about President Obama speaking at Morehouse College and first lady Michelle Obama addressing the graduates of Bowie State University. Hopefully they were inspired by seeing so many young and gifted people finishing the course they chose to follow. Well, here is a little known set of facts. Those colleges are both historically Black collegesknown as HBCUs-and they graduate a disproportionate share of the nation’s Black

Poverty From 1 charitable giving for the federal home lending giant, Fannie Mae. “It occurred to me that if I wanted to fix the housing problem, I had to start earlier and fix the education problem.� Stewart said one of the top goals within the United Way is to assist in improving the nation’s high school graduation rate, which currently sits at 78 percent according to Stewart. She said that number is about 20 percent lower for students of color. “If we are serious about improving these numbers, we have to be better about working with communities of color,� said Stewart, who said the goal is to have a national graduation

Trial From 1 involved in fights, etc.� According to documents release by defense attorneys, prosecutors recovered a photo of an African American holding a

Teens From 1

William Spriggs science, technical, engineering and math majors-the very majors

everyone points to as the skills America will need to succeed. And, it turns out, HBCUs are important because those fields are the backbone of the new Black middle class. More Blacks work in computer-related occupations than are employed as elementary and middle school teachers or postal workers. And, like those students at Morehouse and Bowie State, Black college students are more likely to choose computer science as a major than White students. In part because of the high share of blacks who major in computer science and because of the large number of

Black college students, there are more baccalaureate degrees awarded to African- Americans than to Asian-Americans in computer science. Now, a great challenge lies ahead. Having found a path to the middle class through education and training, business interests are pushing hard in Congress to import temporary workers to do computer-based jobs. This while there are still 20,000plus fewer Blacks employed as computer programmers and systems analysts since their employment peaked in 2008. But, while those workers continue to search to get back

to the high-tech jobs they trained for, we have seen businesses increase requests for H-1B visas (visas for high-tech workers). And now the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted ludicrous amendments, introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the immigration bill, that refuse to give America’s workers a first shot at these jobs. These amendments would even allow businesses to fire American workers and replace them with temporary workers. The AFL-CIO is fighting to restore some reason here. We need to protect American workers’ huge investment in

college loans to get trained in computer and science skills the country needs, while providing a road map to citizenship for all aspiring Americans. So, the AFL-CIO is challenging Sen. Hatch and the business lobby to make sure there are safeguards to keep a path to the middle class open. William Spriggs serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO and is a professor in, and former chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University. Bill is also former assistant secretary for the Office of Policy at the United States Department of Labor.

coalition building. “The United Way is the one entity that can pull together these type of

coalitions. At our (United Way) core, we’re about collaborative action – collaborative change.� But building coalitions does not come without its challenges, especially when people come to the table with varying thoughts and agendas. “We have to work hard at the turf issues or ego issues,� said community volunteer, Phyllis Goff. “How do we get beyond the turf issues?� Stewart said participants must check egos and focus on the common shared goal in order for any such coalition to work. The 49-year-old president, who is the highest-ranking AfricanAmerican within United Way Worldwide, said building a productive coalition is an exercise in patience and trust. “A lot depends on do you trust each other,� said Stewart. “It doesn’t happen overnight. At the end of the day, you’ve

got to be mindful of what’s the common goal – why we are at the table together. Everybody needs to see the mutual benefit of being in this collaborative effort.� Velma Korbel, civil right director for the city of Minneapolis said gathering leaders at the same table is valuable, but only if talk turns to action. “I hope we leave here with some real action steps,� said Korbel. “If we identify something, we need to take action. I hate when I’m in a room with a bunch of talk and no action comes of it.� Stewart’s two-day visit to the Twin Cities included a visit with Northside Achievement Zone staff, which included a tour of a north Minneapolis Promise Neighborhood early learning center.

middle finders to the camera. In addition to other photos of marijuana, the defense also wants to introduce certain text messages recovered from Trayvon Martin’s cell phone. Some of the texts are related to Martin being suspended from school for fighting and his mother’s decision to kick him out of the house. “My mom just told me I gotta

mov wit my dad,â€? said a message sent in Nov. 2011. “She just kicked me out:(.â€? A text message from his father said, “Show them that you a good kid and you want positive things around you. Be a big brother and not a DONKEY‌LOVE DAD.â€? Prosecutors are asking Circuit Judge Debra Nelson to forbid the defense from introducing the

texts. But O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lawyer, said: “If they had suggested that Trayvon is nonviolent and that George is the aggressor, I think that makes evidence of the fighting he has been involved with in the past relevant.� Attorneys for Martin’s parents, who are divorced, said in a statement: “Is the

defense trying to prove Trayvon deserved to be killed by George Zimmerman because (of) the way he looked?� they said. “If so, this stereotypical and closed-minded thinking is the same mindset that caused George Zimmerman to get out of his car and pursue Trayvon, an unarmed kid who he didn’t know.�

15-19. In 2009, 15-19 year-olds accounted for 15.5 percent of all abortions, at a rate of about 13 abortions per 1,000 teens. Ten years prior, there were 407 abortions performed for every 1,000 live births for teens 15-19. “The fact of the matter is most parents and most adults simply don’t know that the teen pregnancy rate has gone down as much as it has,� Albert says. He adds that peer influence and the popularity of television

shows geared around teen pregnancy and teen motherhood, such as MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant, teens have been able to see firsthand the challenges that come along with raising a child while still a child themselves and have decided against it. “There is power in positive peer influence, and I think there’s a lot of that happening,� Albert says. “More teenagers are deciding that these are not the years to get pregnant and start a

family.� Although the rate has decreased significantly, there is still much work to be done in order for the United States to be on par with other established nations. According to the National

Campaign’s website, the United States has a teen birth rate twice that of the United Kingdom, three times that of Canada, and ten times that of Switzerland. Albert says, “We ought not determine this progress a victory.�

rate of 90 percent. With the Twin Cities schools having some of the worst achievement gaps in the nation, Stewart said solutions lie in our own backyard. “In the Twin Cities, you all have the answers; you have the ability to fix this problem,� said Stewart, who pointed to success stories in Cincinnati and Madison, Wisc., in eradicating student achievement gaps. According to Stewart, who has oversight of 1,100 United Ways across the nation – part of the larger 1,800 global network, a key to improving education and solving poverty is building cohesive coalitions. “When I was in D.C., and was working for Fannie Mae and working with different groups, we all came to the realization that maybe (we) can work together with other groups, then we can really make change,�

said Stewart. She suggested that her current organization can serve as a facilitator for such

Smith & Wesson handgun from Martin’s cell phone. It was not immediately clear whether the person holding the weapon was Martin. A second photo shows the handgun and a clip on top of a soiled mattress. The defense is also seeking to introduce a photograph of Martin, dressed in a white undershirt, giving two extended going down at the same time.� In 2011, more than 300,000 babies were born to teen mothers, a record low for U.S. teens ages

Harry Colbert, Jr.

United Way Worldwide U.S. President Stacey Stewart addresses a group of area civic and business leaders during a luncheon this past week.

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Insight News • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Page 3

BUSINESS

Why would you do that? Plan Your Career By Julie Desmond julie@insightnews.com Mark is thinking about going into business. For himself. Again. He already has a success story or two behind him and a steady income. If he doesn’t change anything but his socks, he can survive pretty well for the foreseeable future. But he got this phone call out of the blue, and now he is thinking about buying a franchise. His friends want to know, “Why would you do that?” His response is, “That’s what I want to know.” Planning to start a business is no small deal. It would seem easy: get a tax ID number, hang a sign on the door or on the internet, and off you go. The harsh realities hide in the what-abouts. What about taxes? What about payroll?

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What about legal fees? What about the competition? Asking these questions repeatedly, of anyone who might know anything about it, is critical. Mark needs to ask until he gets the answers he wants to hear, and then ask until he hears the other side. There are always two sides. Mark should keep talking to people until he understands the ups and downs and can choose for himself which considerations apply to his situation. Who are our competitors? There is no better mousetrap. There is no new idea under the sun. Not in technology. Not in restaurant menus. Not in sports. What Mark wants to do has been done, or is being done. He needs to discover who is doing and how; he also needs to know who used to do that business, and ask them why they are no longer involved. He might succeed where someone else failed, but doesn’t want to make the same mistakes someone else has already made. Where is the exit? The most successful businesses

today start with an exit strategy. Maybe Mark wants to sell his business in 10 years for $10 Million. Maybe he wants to pass it down to his kids. Before he opens the doors, he needs to know how he will close them. Doing so will help Mark focus his goals and plans and keep him on track when the unexpected occurs, which it will. Mark is realistic about starting a business. He is being cautious. He is asking questions. He will probably decide to go forward, and he will probably be successful. And if he is, it will be because after he fell in love with a business idea, he decided to live with it for a while before making a commitment. He is asking Why? right now. Once he’s committed, he can ask, Why not? And in business, both questions have their place. Julie Desmond is IT Recruiting Manager with George Konik Associates, Inc. Send your career planning questions to Jdesmond@georgekonik.com.

Comcast Foundation awards leadership grants A group of area high school seniors was awarded Comcast Foundation Leadership Grants. The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program provides one-time $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors who strive to achieve their potential, who are catalysts for positive change in their communities, who are involved in their schools and who serve as models for their fellow students. The philosophy behind the program is to give young people opportunities to be prepared for the future, to engage youth in their communities and to demonstrate the importance of civic involvement and the value placed on civic involvement by the business community. Area awardees include Yasmine Mohammed Nur, Oluwatunmise Fawole, Malcolm Seals, Amane Wako and Barite Gutama. Mohammed Nur of north Minneapolis is a graduate of St. Paul Central High School. Nur was a member of the Multicultural Excellence Program and interns at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. She was a Post Secondary Enrollment Options-Student Association board member, and is the Public Relations Chair for the University of Minnesota’s Black Student Union, while being a Gates Millennium Scholars Ambassador. Mohammed Nur received the Gates Millennium, Coca Cola, Presidential and Best Buy scholarships. She will attend the University of Minnesota to study marketing, Spanish, and design. Brooklyn Park’s Fawole graduated from Osseo High School. She was the 2012 Minnesota Girl’s State Governor and gave the inaugural address to 344 Girl’s State citizens and their parents. Fawole was the French Student of the Year, Harvard Prize Book recipient, National Achievement Scholarship Outstanding Participant and Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor. A tennis player, Fawole was also the captain of Junior Rotary and a member of the National Honor Society. She will attend the University of Pennsylvania to study biology. Seals is a graduate of Anoka High School. Seals was active in Students Together Are Responsible and in Spanish Club. He was captain of his football team, earning All Conference honors. Seals earned All Conference Honorable Mention in basketball and was an Academic All-State runner up. Seals will study education at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. New Hope’s Wako is a graduate of Robbinsdale Cooper High School. Wako volunteered at Project for

Photos Courtesy of the Comcast Foundation

Barite Gutama

Pride in Living, Brooklyn Park Library, Crestview Elementary School and New Hope Tobacco Free. She is assistant editor of the African Girls Club, involved with Link Crew, and member of the Ethiopian Club, National Honor Society and Trio Upward Bound. She received the school’s Outstanding and Excellence Letter, Math Award, Community Service Award, and was Student of the Month. Wako will attend the University of MinnesotaDuluth to study accounting. South Minneapolis’ Gutama is a graduate of Roosevelt High School. Gutama was active with Students in Action, for which she received the Jefferson Award of Public Service. She began Key Club/SIA and supported projects including UNICEF’s Maternal Neo Natal Tetanus Elimination Project. Gutama also volunteered at Protecting You Protecting Me, Hennepin County Medical Center, food shelves, blood drives, and was a tutor at Franklin Library’s Homework Hub. She was a member of the National Honor Society and Math Team, and was a Student Ambassador. In addition, she received the National Yale University Book Award. Gutama will attend St. Olaf College in Northfield and major in chemistry. “Each year, we are excited to provide scholarships for these talented students,” said Ralph Martinez, regional vice president of Comcast in the Twin Cities. “Comcast seeks students who demonstrate leadership abilities in school activities and who reflect a strong commitment to community service. These students are our future leaders and we hope these scholarships will help to power their dreams for success.” Since the national program’s inception in 1999, Comcast has provided scholarships to over 19,000 students totaling nearly $19 million. In the Twin Cities, Comcast started its student scholarship program in 2004 and to date has honored more than 340 students, awarding over $365,000. More information about the foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast. com/community.

Amane Wako

Malcolm Seals

Oluwatunmise Fawole

Yasmine Nur

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Page 4 • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Insight News

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EDUCATION Students examine Cassellius success story Dr. Brenda Cassellius made history when she became the first African American Commissioner for Education for the state of Minnesota. She went through many struggles before she earned the top honor of the highest educational position in the state. She went through poverty, racial discrimination, and was even a single mother. Through it all, she believed and proved that with a good education, everything is possible. WE WIN Institute students studied the life and accomplishments of this great African American. They learned about her early

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Insight News is published weekly, every Monday by McFarlane Media Interests. Editor-In-Chief Al McFarlane CFO Adrianne Hamilton-Butler Publisher Batala-Ra McFarlane Associate Editor & Associate Publisher B.P. Ford Vice President of Sales & Marketing Selene White Culture and Education Editor Irma McClaurin Director of Content & Production Patricia Weaver Sr. Content & Production Coordinator Ben Williams Production Intern Sunny Thongthi Distribution/Facilities Manager Jamal Mohamed Receptionist Lue B. Lampley Contributing Writers Cordie Aziz Harry Colbert, Jr. Julie Desmond Fred Easter Oshana Himot Timothy Houston Alaina L. Lewis Alysha Price Photography Suluki Fardan Michele Spaise Contact Us: Insight News, Inc. Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis., MN 55411 Ph.: (612) 588-1313 Fax: (612) 588-2031 Member: Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC), Midwest Black Publishers Coalition, Inc. (MBPCI), National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Postmaster: Send address changes to McFarlane Media Interests, Marcus Garvey House 1815 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55411.

beginnings, the struggles she went through in her life and how education played a role to the success in her life. Students worked together to write an essay about Dr. Cassellius, then they created an informational board that chronicled the accomplishments of her life, and culminated the activity by creating a life-size mannequin of the education commissioner. The children were honored to present her life to Dr. Cassellius in person at a program presented at WE WIN Institute. They shared with the commissioner the African rituals that they do at WE WIN, African dance and drum, and the story of her life. Dr. Brenda Cassellius was humbled and grateful for the honor bestowed upon her. She hugged the children and told them that she was working with Governor Mark Dayton to put resources behind programs like WE WIN Institute that was helping children learn about their rich culture and history while simultaneously learning reading, writing and mathematics. Dr. Brenda Cassellius, servant of the community By Lizzy Voravong, Diamond Diggs and Teresa Baker

Dr. Cassellius hugging Diamond Diggs Our essay is about Dr. Brenda Cassellius. She was born in Minnesota. Having many struggles in her life, education was the key to her success. She is now the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education. Dr. Cassellius was born in 1967 in the state of Minnesota. Her family had many struggles because of poverty. She moved several times in her childhood. In high school she attended Richfield High. She went to several universities, which included the University of

Minnesota, and the University of St. Thomas. Dr. Cassellius believes that the ticket to her success was education and her teachers. She worked hard because her teachers saw something in her that she didn’t see in herself. Commissioner Cassellius walked away from a full scholarship at Gustavus Adolphus College. Ms. Brenda started out at this college but after being called a racial slur while walking down the street in St. Peter, she walked away from her full ride

Photos: WE WIN Institute

Lizzy Voravong, Diamond Diggs and Teresa Baker scholarship and went to study at the University of Minnesota, paying her tuition on her own, with the assistance of college grants. Commissioner Cassellius earned her teaching license. After being a teacher for many years, she became an associate superintendent of schools in Tennessee and in Minnesota. After returning to Minnesota from Tennessee, she received a new job as the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education. One of her goals is to close

the Minnesota educational achievement gap. Believing that education is the key to success, her kindergarten teacher set a foundation that made her an enthusiastic learner, which still exists today. We think that Dr. Brenda Cassellius is a great commissioner. She is a brave and smart woman who grew up to be a wonderful role model for all of us. We admire her for her determination and effort. We think that she is doing a fantastic job as the Commissioner of the Department of Education!

Reading, writing and Rhee By Kam Williams Michelle Rhee was born on Christmas Day, 1969 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A firstgeneration Korean-American descended from a long line of educators, she embarked on a career as a teacher in inner-city Baltimore soon after graduating from Cornell University with a BA in government. However, her star really started to rise after she earned a Masters Degree in Public policy at Harvard University’s prestigious Kennedy School. She was subsequently recruited by NYC School Chancellor Joel Klein to help handle his stalled contract talks with the teachers’ union. And on the strength of Michelle’s negotiations with UFT president Randi Weingarten, Klein recommended his feisty protégé for the top job in DC. Washington’s public schools were among the worst performing in the nation, and Rhee found a very receptive Mayor in Adrian Fenty, who gave his new hire free reign to overhaul his troubled system in accordance with her controversial reforms. She would spend a stormy three years in the public eye as the embattled Schools Chancellor of the Washington, DC public schools. Employing a “kids first” philosophy, Michelle chopped heads in the top-heavy administration, firing dozens of dead wood principals, laying off hundreds of extraneous office workers and closing over twenty underperforming schools. Although students’ test scores

honor to have the opportunity. Michelle Rhee: Thanks so much, Kam. It’s a pleasure for me.

who are putting pressure on their elected officials to put the right laws and policies into effect.

KW: I really enjoyed reading Radical. It humanized you in a way I hadn’t expected, since you came to be presented in the press as such a polarizing figure by the end of your tenure in DC. I found it very informative and moving, especially where you talk about your family, your childhood and your education. MR: I’m glad.

KW: Where did you get the confidence that you could create a national organization from nothing? MR: From a combination of things. Being able to announce the launch on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and saying that we were going to get a million members and raise a billion dollars in a year was huge. People thought I was crazy. But I have long believed that there are many people out there who are incredibly frustrated with the educational system. I felt that if we could capture that sentiment, and mobilize them to take action and organize others in their communities, then this could be a very powerful force.

KW: For instance, I was surprised to learn that you had taken Black Studies courses as an undergrad at Cornell, since that was my major there. MR: Yes, I took a fair number of courses in the Africana Studies department.

Michelle Rhee improved dramatically during her brief stint in the position, her antiunion stance proved unpopular. Mayor Fenty’s reelection bid was basically a referendum on whether the city wished to continue with Rhee’s scorched earth philosophy. When he lost, her days were numbered, so she handed in her resignation rather than wait around to be fired.

Michelle, a mother of two, is married to former NBA star Kevin Johnson, who is now the Mayor of Sacramento, California. Here, she talks about currently serving as CEO of StudentsFirst, a political advocacy organization she founded in 2010 to advance the cause of educational reform. Kam Williams: Hi Michelle, thanks for the interview. It’s an

KW: Tell me a little about your new organization, StudentsFirst. MR: I started StudentsFirst when I left DC, essentially because of what had happened to my boss [Mayor Fenty]. I had very naively taken the job believing that, if we worked hard for the kids and produced results, people would want it to continue. But I learned that that was absolutely not the case, that people were less focused on the results than on the process and the personalities. The problem was that we didn’t have any political muscle through which we could support and defend a person like Fenty. So, that’s why I founded StudentsFirst, to create an environment where we have a powerful political force advocating on behalf of children. We now have two million members across the country

KW: The cynic in me wonders whether your organization really has widespread grassroots support, or if it is basically being backed by some archconservative billionaires like the Koch brothers. MR: This is driven by everyday people. Our average donation is $84. I get why the other side might try to frame it as a rightwing movement, but the bottom line is I am a life-long Democrat. My husband is a Democratic politician. I was appointed by a Democrat. The vast majority of the goals on our policy agenda are similar to what President Obama and his administration are advocating.

RHEE TURN TO 9

Duncan: Prevent student loan interest rates from doubling July 1 Education Secretary Arne Duncan says Congress should extend current student loan interests rates beyond the July 1 scheduled rate hike and work to find solution shields students from the burden of deficit reduction. In a statement Wednesday, Duncan said, “Our priority is to ensure that Congress doesn’t allow federal student loan interest rates to double on July 1. President Obama has put forward a comprehensive solution that will help middleclass students and their families afford college by lowering interest rates on July 1, without adding to the deficit, and Senator Harkin and Congressman Miller have also been leaders within Congress to prevent rates from doubling for students and families.” “While we welcome action by the House on student loans,

Arne Duncan we have concerns about its current approach, which does not guarantee low rates for students on July 1, makes students bear the burden of deficit reduction, and fails to lock in interest rates when students take out a loan – so their rates could escalate in the future,” he said. Now is not the time to

double interest rates on student loans, and we remain committed to working with Congress on a bipartisan approach to a long-term, fiscally sustainable solution that will help students and families afford higher education now and in the future. Given the impending July 1 deadline, an extension that protects students against higher rates while Congress develops an alternative solution is another reasonable option,” he said. Both the President and I firmly believe college should not be reserved only for the wealthy. All of us share responsibility for making college affordable and keeping the middle-class dream alive. There is no excuse if Congress fails to come to an agreement that prevents rates from rising suddenly in July, and we look forward to working with members of both parties to reach a solution,” he said.


TUAN X Giving more than just music

style, coupled with vocal ingenuity, this in demand indie artist is making waves up and down the east coast. He’s currently gearing up to make stops at an array of venues spread out from New York to Washington, D.C. and beyond. “The Blackman Tour is my release. The shedding of my past, my pain, my darkness, sharing it and allowing in the light of my present and beginning the unrelenting and unwavering focus on my future,” said Tuan X. The Brooklyn native is

By Alaina L Lewis

H

ip-hop artist and philanthropist Tuan X is spreading his infectious brand of hip-hop music via summer tour aptly titled The Blackman Tour. The Blackman Tour speaks to the lyrical purging of this burgeoning artist’s past, pain and darkness, while cruising on a personal journey towards light and opportunity. Boasting a presentation equipped with a cunning lyrical

definitely not your everyday rapper, which makes him a refreshing delight to any eardrum. His music is a tasty stew of conscious hip-hop, kissed with quaint storylines of love, lust, freedom and fearlessness. For Tuan X, not only is The Blackman Tour a backdrop to push his upcoming EP, “A Tale of Two Cities,” but it has also allowed him to tap into his philanthropic side. He has carefully laced his tour with a cause-worthy agenda to

TUAN X TURN TO 6 Photo courtesy of the artist

‘After Earth’ offers lessons in conquering fear

By Alaina L Lewis Will Smith and son, Jaden Smith, teamed up to star in the M. Night Shyamalan movie,

“After Earth.” The film, based on a story idea by Will Smith, is set 1,000 years in the future and charts a father and son’s war to survive after their spaceship breaks

apart due to a meteor shower and crash lands on earth. Earth is now an uninhabited toxic planet that has evolved in every way to kill humans. When these survivors realize

that the only working device to send out a distress signal to their home land is in the tail end of the airplane –

AFTER EARTH 7 TURN TO Sony Pictures

MORE

• ‘Funkytown’ pays homage to the Minneapolis Sound

• Music and movies in Loring Park

• Snapshots


Page 6 • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Aesthetically Speaking

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‘Funkytown’ pays homage to the Minneapolis Sound By Alaina L. Lewis Earlier this month, the Minnesota Music Café was filled with generations of musical greats, and their faithful followings, as the room readied itself for the premiere of the Megabien Entertainment film documentary series “Funkytown,” – a purposeful love letter addressed to the celebrated “Minneapolis Sound.” The TV program is produced by Hans Stachowiak and Monika Hurka of Megabien Entertainment. The title draws its name from the 1980 Lipps Inc. track of the same name, made famous by front woman Cynthia Johnson, who also serves as narrator. From Prince, to Mint Condition, and on to BoomBox and soul crooner Ray Covington, the film weaves together stories from the pioneers of the Minneapolis music scene, alongside current generation’s most celebrated local artists. Another incredible aspect to the production is not only does it showcase the works of soul,

Megabien Entertainment

Cynthia Johnson

rock and R&B heavyweights, but also mixes it up and exposes the beautiful diversity within our local scene with acts such as Native-American artist Joanne Shenandoah, a Grammy Award winner. “Funkytown” isn’t just about music. It also carefully highlights some of the amazing venues that have been pivotal backdrops to many of our artists’ music careers. First Avenue, the Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul, Mickey’s Diner, the Loring Pasta Bar, Mill City Museum, as well as the place where the premiere was held, the Minnesota Music Café, have been permanent fixtures in the lives of our musical community and enthusiasts. The film celebrates these places for being just as synonymous to the Twin Cities, as the song “Funkytown” has been for generations of eardrums who appreciate and respect its origins. “Funkytown” is set for release some time later this year. For more information, visit www. megabien.net.

Farfetched sequel features cartoon physics and comic relief courtesy of Tyrese By Kam Williams It’s important to note that this edition of “Fast & Furious” is every bit as funny as it is adrenaline-fueled. Most of the laughs come courtesy of comic relief provided by Tyrese, who is back in an expanded role as trash-talking Roman Pearce, a card-carrying member of the fugitive gang of auto thieves led by macho Dominic Toretto (Vin

Diesel). Like a latter-day Stepin Fetchit, Roman revives a slew of offensive African-American stereotypes, behaving in an alternately shallow, jive, flamboyant, lecherous, felonious and cowardly manner, doing everything but put on a dress to make a joke work. To Tyrese’s credit, the campy performance somehow works, either because the character is so ingratiating, or because of the presence of

Universal Pictures

Fast and Furious 6 several respectable other blacks in the principal cast. Whether entertaining a bevy of scantily-clad beauties on his personal jet (with “It’s Roman, bitches!” emblazoned on the fuselage) or making money literally rain out of an ATM to the delight of a crowd of appreciative strangers picking the bills up off the ground, the scene-stealing cynosure is always the center of attention. Well, except during the action, chase and fight scenes when the muscle cars and muscle heads take charge. Other than Tyrese’s, the acting is uniformly wooden and unconvincing. Not to worry, this stunt driven-spectacular is all

about the eye-popping special effects, and boy does it deliver in terms of the wow factor! The plot of F&F 6 is little more than a lame excuse to pit an army of bad guys against an army of worse guys, both as simplistically-drawn as tag teams of opposing professional wrestlers. Here’s the storyline in 25 words or more. Dominic coaxes his cohorts (Tyrese, Paul Walker, Ludacris, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot) out of retirement for one last adventure, after rumors surface that his late-ex, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), might miraculously still be alive. They hatch a plan to rescue the damsel in distress who’s suffering from amnesia and

currently in the clutches of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), a worthy adversary specializing in vehicular warfare. His posse’s recent attack on a Russian military convoy explains why Diplomatic Security Service agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is desperately seeking the assistance of Dominic’s crew. They agree on the condition that, should this mission succeed, they’ll be granted clemency for the host of crimes committed in F&F episodes 1-5. Hobbs okays the deal, and soon, a dogfight featuring fisticuffs, pyrotechnics and plenty of cartoon physics unfolds all over London, involving not only souped-up autos and state-of-

the-art gadgetry, but a tank and a plane, to boot. The epitome of a summer blockbuster, complete with a post-credits set-up of F&F 7 (already slated to be released in July of 2014). Just remember to check your brain at the box office, and you won’t be disappointed.

Tuan X

mental illness, the rapper is on a crusade to utilize his platform to make a difference both on and off the stage. “Philanthropy is my duty. I also support the funding and research of cancer and awareness. I lost my father to cancer at the age of four and it is prevalent in my fathers genealogy,” shared Tuan X. “I’m also a big supporter of mental health research. These illnesses, at times, wreak havoc

on the families and, of course, on the people who have to live with it daily. Schizophrenia has made some people in my life shells of their former selves. Medicine has nearly obliterated their personalities and liveliness. And I hope for a day where great advancements will be made in the treatment of these illnesses. I believe in Oprah’s (Winfrey) philosophy of using your life to serve the

world. In whatever way I can, I will. It is my purpose.” Tuan X currently has two CDs available for purchase, “Of Mice and Men,” and “The Piano Lesson.” Both are available on iTunes. Also, be on the look out for Tuan X’s new single “We Get Lifted,” off his upcoming EP. To view his tour diaries or learn more about Tuan X, visit www.TuanX.com.

From 5 bridge arts with the importance of giving back. Since the beginning of May, Tuan X has been donating 100 percent of the profits from his online store to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. Because he’s had relatives and personal relationships affected by

Excellent (4 stars) PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, mayhem, violence and intense action Running time: 130 minutes Distributor: Universal Pictures


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Aesthetically Speaking • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Page 7

Music & movies in Loring Park Get your popcorn ready. The Walker Art Center presents Summer Music & Movies: Roadways, Monday evenings, July 29 – Aug. 19 as the Walker’s popular perennial showcase of free films and eclectic music returns to Loring Park this summer. Mexican artist, Abraham Cruzvillegas, whose work is featured in a new exhibition at the Walker, selected this year’s films. Bands kick-start each evening with a mix of local luminaries and DJ hosts from 89.3 The Current. spinning between the music and films. Movies begin at dusk (approximately 8:45 p.m.). In the event of rain, festivities move inside to the Walker cinema.

Monday, July 29 Music: Prissy Clerks Bounding between punchy power pop and dreamy low-fi, Clara Salyer (Total Babe) joins forces with Howard Hamilton, Dylan Ritchie, Tim Leick and Emily Lazear for a modern take on new pop for now people. Bristling with talent, this band is fuzzed out, tuned in, and ready to rip with crunchy guitar, bouncy beats, and shimmering melodies. Movie: ‘The Hawks and the Sparrows’ (Uccellacci E Uccellini) Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, this comic fable stars the beloved stone-faced clown, Toto, as an Italian everyman on an adventure with his goodnatured but empty-headed son. With a wisecracking crow as a counterpoint, the human

After Earth From 5 incredibly, miles from where the rest of the vessel has landed – the son, Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith), must overcome every fear he has of what lurks on the deserted planet, and go on a perilous journey to find the signal and save his father, Cypher Raige (Will Smith), who was injured during their fall. Not since “Pursuit of Happiness,” have this father and son teamed up to carry a movie. Unlike the prior flick, which was focused on Will’s character, “After Earth” really is Jaden’s film – a coming of age tale of about a

The Chalice travelers progress down the road of life, two delightful innocents caught, like many Italians in 1964, between the church and Marxism.

Monday, Aug. 5 Music: Roe Family Singers and Charlie Parr The Roe Family Singers unpack their saws, jugs, and banjos and dip into a refreshing distillation of traditional folk and country. Legend-in-the-making, Charlie Parr then takes the stage with his Depression-era folk. The set ends with a rollicking all-player jamboree.

Movie: ‘Cochochi’ Directed by Israel Cárdenas and Laura Ameilia Guzmán, Evaristo and Tony, brothers from the Sierra Tarahumara in northwest Mexico, have just completed elementary school and start their summer vacation. A stolen horse and a trip to their grandfather’s village on the other side of the canyon lead them on a journey into unexpected worlds. “Cochochi” premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2007 and won numerous festival awards around the world.

Monday, Aug. 12 Music: The Chalice

boy exacting his fortitude in the face of adversity. If I can be honest, this film is a bit of a departure from that “Big Willie” style of movie we’re used to seeing come out of the Smith camp, but all is not lost on the journey. No, this isn’t “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” or even “I am Legend.” This is an M. Night Shymalan (“Sixth Sense,” “Lady in the Water”) vehicle, which means you need to make room for the unconventional writer/directors otherworldly interpretations of your typical boy becoming a man plot. The film is pretty much a bare bones adventure choosing to leave the fat of the journey in the mind of our protagonist, Jaden. After being shipwrecked on toxic

planet earth, Will never really leaves their nearly demolished space craft, rather he settles into the role of being Jaden’s “eyes” from the ship – the voice from the lookout beacon trying to narrate his son to safety. Up until the end of the great adventure, most of the obstacles Jaden has to overcome start first in his mind. At the very beginning of the film, Will’s character offers a memorable speech in the same vein as Dale Carnegie’s famous training on the idea that fear does not exist except in the mind. The elder Smith is trying to teach his son to live in the present moment, and to keep a sound mind, rather than borrow fear from a future outcome one is not presently facing. Danger is real, he tells his son, but fear only

Quench your hip-hop thirst with the Chalice, the female trio that’s poised on the cusp of national notoriety. Emcees Lizzo, Sophia Eris, and Claire de Lune make noise, act sweet, and kill beats with laid-back rhymes and an electric party energy paired with an unbound collection of sounds from old-school hip-hop, soul, funk, R&B, and reggae. Movie: ‘In the Pit’ (En el Hoyo) A Mexican proverb warns, “For every bridge built, the devil demands one soul.” A lyrical and compassionate documentary, “In the Pit” delves into the personal struggles behind the construction of a massive elevated freeway – Mexico City’s Periférico Beltway, a spectacular miracle of modern architectural exists in the mind. The film was rewarding, and

design that comes with a human cost. “In the Pit” won awards at festivals around the world, including the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

Monday, Aug. 19 Music: Zoo Animal/Aby Wolf/ Grant Cutler Equal parts exploration and celebration, this 70-minute sonic survey features avant pop favorites from Zoo Animal and Aby Wolf in addition to the new electro-pop collaborations Weird Visions (Cutler and Zoo Animal) and Wolf Lords (Cutler and Aby Wolf).

what it lacks in storyline, is made up in life lessons and a genuine

Movie: ‘Pee Wee’s Big Adventure’ After his beloved new bicycle is stolen, the happy-go-lucky Pee Wee Herman goes on a wild cross-country journey after a fortuneteller informs him that his bike is in the basement of the Alamo. This comedy is Tim Burton’s first feature film and his nod to Vittorio De Sica’s Italian neorealist classic, “The Bicycle Thief.” Summer Music & Movies is presented in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The Walker Art Center is located at 1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. For more information, call (612) 375-7600 or visit www.walkerart.org.

experience. Grade: C+

UNIVERSAL PICTURES PRESENTS A PLATINUM DUNES/BLUMHOUSE/WHY NOT PRODUCTION ETHAN HAWKELINE LENA HEADEY “THE PURGE” ADELAIDE KANE MAX MUSIC BURKHOLDER CASTING COBY LISA FIELDS PRODUCER GERARD D I NARDI PRODUCER JEANETTE VOLTURNO-BRILL BY NATHAN WHITEHEAD PRODUCED BY JASON BLUM p.g.a. MICHAEL BAY ANDREW FORM BRAD FULLER SEBASTIEN ´ K. LEMERCIER p.g.a. WRITTEN AND A UNIVERSAL RELEASE DIRECTED BY JAMES D E MONACO © 2013 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

STARTS FRIDAY, JUNE 7

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR THEATERS AND SHOWTIMES


Page 8 • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Aesthetically Speaking

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1: Halima Abdi (left) and Josette Reynolds hanging out at Tryg’s for Cocktails & Dreams 2: Andre Taurus kicking back at Tryg’s during Chris Lee’s Cocktails & Dreams Day Party 3: (Left to right) Tasha Turner, Tiffany Meeks, Celita cook and Claudia Cooper pause for a photo during Cocktails & Dreams at Tryg’s. 4: Eric “Big E” Walker in town for Cocktails and Dreams at Tryg’s.

Lee, Mario Wimberly, Sparkle Wimberly, Natalia Holloway and Antoinette Dillard hanging out at Tryg’s for Cocktails and Dreams. 6: Devonna Pittman (left) and Sernicia Lewis at the Cocktails & Dreams Day Party 7: Sharesha Green and Keisha Andrews brighten up the day at Cocktails & Dreams. 8: Desralynn Cole flashes her beautiful smile, hanging out at Tryg’s for Chris Lee’s Cocktails & Dreams.

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Insight News • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Page 9

FULL CIRCLE

You are the programmer Man Talk

By Timothy Houston “Hello world!” It is the first line of code that someone starting out in computer programming will write. It is a very simple program that allows the programmer to see that the things that were wrote behind the curtain is now available for the whole world to see. This simple declaration serves notice to the world that a new programmer is now on the scene, and this new programmer is determined to leave his or her mark on those who will enter into their domain. This is true for people as well. Our brain is

Rhee From 4 KW: I tried teaching in an innercity public school after I first graduated from Cornell, but was quickly disillusioned by things like social promotion and low expectations. So, I admire how you took a similar path, but stuck in there, perhaps because you came from a family of educators. MR: One of the reasons I wrote the book was to tell my story and to talk about my journey with educational reform, so people can understand why I have the views I have today. I have an absolutely unshakable faith in kids, grounded in the fact that I worked for three years in one of the worst public schools in Baltimore, with kids most people would write off because of their backgrounds. But, when I set high expectations, at the end of the day, these kids went from scoring at the bottom on standardized tests, to scoring at the top, despite their unfortunate circumstances. I actually saw what could happen with my own two eyes. That experience set a light bulb off in my head that any

like a giant computer that runs on the programs we write every day. The world is the recipient of our programs whether they are good, bad or indifferent. To be most effective in life, we must keep some basic computer principles in mind. First, you are the programmer. You are the one that will feed your brain the information that it needs to make your life successful. One of the saying in computer lingo is “garbage in, garbage out.” This means if you only feed your brain junk, it can only produce junk. When you discipline yourself to feed your mind the most powerful, positive information available, it will produce the most positive, powerful outcomes. The things you listen to, watch, read, and the people you associate with are all a part of your input process. Remember, you are the programmer, and you determine

what is and is not allowed in your life’s computer program. Secondly, write the program. This means take control of your

life by actively steering it in the direction that you want to go. When you determine what you

is created from life’s mistakes, mishaps, and shortcomings is never good. If you do not write

kids could do it, if you create the right school environment. That’s what drives me every day. Why wouldn’t we as a country want to do that?

system. But I didn’t realize at the time that how you do things is just as important as what you do.

or social worker at every school in the district, whereas before, only the wealthy schools had art teachers, because that community could have an auction and hire art teachers on its own. We pooled the resources for all the schools and thereby broadened the resources available to all the students in the district, which I think was critical.

KW: What do you think of school vouchers, charter schools, lotteries and heartbreaking documentaries like Waiting for Superman? MR: If you lived in a neighborhood with a failing public school, and you had an opportunity to take advantage of a voucher or other program that would allow you to send your child to a better school, there isn’t a single parent who would say “no.” That’s why movies like Waiting for Superman are so helpful. They show things from the perspective of inner-city families who would do anything to ensure a decent education for their kids. That shatters stereotypes in a very powerful way. KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: What was the biggest lesson you learned from your experience in DC? MR: We were taking the right steps to fix a dysfunctional school

want your output to be, you are able write your life’s plan to bring it to pass. Letting your life run on the default program that

You are the one that will feed your brain the information that it needs to make your life successful.

KW: Harriet also asks: How can we empower educational systems on the local level that have such drastic financial concerns that they’re making very round corners? MR: We are in tough economic times right now, and the first thing we have to do is look at how we’re spending the dollars that we have, and at what kind of return on investment we’re getting. Because I think it will show that spending more money without fixing the fundamental flaws in the system won’t produce anything different in terms of results. In DC, we were spending a whole lot of money on things that had no positive impact on students’ achievement levels. KW: Kate Newell asks: How committed are you to saving art programs in schools? MR: Even though we closed 15% of the schools in DC my first year, we were able to put an art teacher, a music teacher, a P.E. teacher, a librarian, a nurse and a guidance counselor

KW: Are you a stereotypical Asian “Tiger Mom”? MR: [Chuckles] Do I hold high expectations of them? Yeah. But we all have to have more rigorous expectations of our kids in this country. KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? MR: I just see a mom. That’s who I am and what drives my actions and decisions every day. KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory? MR: Being in nursery school, and hearing the teachers saying, “She’s slow.” I remember thinking, “You don’t know anything about me.”

your positive life’s story, the negative one will be the only one people read. Write the program! Establish a mission plan, write your personal vision statement and let your brain’s computer produce the outcome your desire. Finally, change the program. Programming is not a single action event. Programs constantly need changing. There are upgrades, new versions, and corrections that are needed. The environment that we live in is not static, so your life’s program must continually evolve. No single event should be allowed to be the determining factor in your life. Mistakes happen. Bad things happen. Change the program. Those who rewrite their life’s story, rewrite it to have a happy ending. We all have the power to change the negative program our life is running on to a better one. You are the programmer,

write the program. If you don’t like the outcome, change the program. Your choices today will determine your output tomorrow. You have the power to rewrite your life’s story. Input determines output so make sure you are feeding your brain positive energy and information. Your senses are your input keyboard. What you see, hear, taste, and touch will be filed into your brain’s computer, garbage in, garbage out. “Hello world” is your declaration to all that a better you is one the way because today you realize that you are the programmer!

KW: Thanks again for the time, Michelle, and best of luck with all your endeavors.

MR: I appreciate it, Kam. Thanks.

Timothy Houston is an author, minister, and motivational speaker who is committed to guiding positive life changes in families and communities. To get copies of his books, for questions, comments or more information, go to www. tlhouston.com.


Page 10 • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Insight News

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COMMUNITY God made vegetables to save our society Faced with the reality of statistics that show nearly 1 in 3 children in America as overweight or obese, and the numbers are even higher in African-American communities, where nearly 40% of children are overweight or obese these factors lead to the speculation that one third

of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives, the Youth Ministry of Greater Mount Vernon felt compelled to do something, anything to help change this trend. God Made Vegetable to Save Our Society (G.M.V.S.O.S) a program of the

Greater Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist funded in part by the Minneapolis Foundation’s Youth Empowerment grant, was a labor of love for the youth who wanted to do their part to encourage healthy lifestyles and physical activity among their peers. G.M.V.S.O.S consists of three

Calendar • Classifieds Send Community Calendar information to us by email: info@insightnews.com, by fax: 612.588.2031, by phone: 612.5881313 or by mail: 1815 Bryant Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411. Free or low cost events preferred.

EVENTS Walking and Biking Tours May 19 through September 15 During the summer of 2013, Preserve Minneapolis will offer 27 unique tours that highlight the natural, built, and cultural treasures found throughout the City. The 2013 schedule runs from May 19th through September 15th. On each tour, guides with experience in fields like architecture, history, and preservation will tell the “stories behind the stories” and give participants a greater understanding of the area’s social and built history…with fun and a sense of humor. Tours typically cost $8 per person. Participants must pre-register online. Tours fill up fast and will be held to their size limits; however, when space allows, we will accept last-minute additions and cash payments of $10 at the tour starting points. Prepayment/registration and more information is available at: http:// www.preserveminneapolis.org/ wpfile/tours/ Volunteers of America Foster Parent Information Meetings Ongoing Foster Parent Information Meetings for interested skilled parents desiring to provide care for troubled youth in the Volunteers of America foster care program. Kids of all ages are in need of a stable home with dedicated parents. Information meetings are held at Volunteers of America Corporate Office every Friday from 10am-11:30am. To RSVP or for additional information on becoming a foster parent, contact Jolene Swan at 952-945-4064, email ftpfostercare@voamn.org or online at voafostercare.org 59th Annual Northrop Summer Music Festival Begins June 7 Northrop at the University of Minnesota presents the 59th Annual Northrop Summer Music Festival 2013 (NSMF) on Northrop Plaza beginning with Charanga Tropical DJ Fatty: A Latin-infused DJ set from DJ Fatty, followed by headliner ninepiece salsa ensemble Charanga Tropical on Fri, Jun 7, 7:00 – 10:00 pm. This is a free, outdoor summer concert series, featuring well-known local musicians and DJs, alongside emerging U of M student bands. The series presents a sampling of musical genres including hip-hop, dance music, singer-songwriter, folk, Latin, and spoken word. Concerts are held on selected Wednesdays at noon and Fridays at 7:00 pm during June and July. Free food and beverages will be featured throughout the series from various local vendors. For more information and the full schedule, visit Northrop’s website at http://www.northrop.umn.edu/ tickets/season-packages/northropsummer-music-festival.

School Rummage Sale-Friday and Saturday, June 7-8 Show your support for Laura Jeffrey Academy and get some great stuff at our rummage sale. The sale is Friday, June 7 from noon to 6 pm and Saturday, 8 am - 3 pm. Furniture, clothes, shoes, purses, household items, books, movies, and much more! 1550 Summit Avenue, St.Paul (on the corner of Summit and Snelling) Sam’s Club free men’s health screenings June 8 Sam’s Club will host free men’s health screenings on Saturday, June 8, 2013, 11am-3pm. The screenings will be offered at all Sam’s Club location with a pharmacy. To find a club near you, visit www.SamsClub.com// clublocator .The screenings will offer the following free tests: PSA (prostate-specific antigen) for men, TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) for women, blood pressure, BMI (body mass index), and vision. If you have any questions, please contact SamsHealthScreenings@ cohnwolf.com . Town Hall Session June 13 Pillsbury United Communities and Generation Next are teaming up for a “Town Hall Session” on accelerating educational achievement in the Twin Cities on Thursday, June 13, 2013, 6-8PM at the Waite House, 2323 11th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Parents, community members, teachers and administrators are invited to discuss potential solutions to: The Achievement Gap, Early Grade Literacy and College and Career Readiness. Join us for a brief presentation with Minneapolis School Board Member, Alberto Monserrate _and Generation Next, Executive Director, Michael Goar. The presentation will be followed _by a discussion facilitated by Pillsbury United Communities, President and CEO, Chanda Smith Baker and Waite House, Director, Francisco Segovia. Lite hors d’oeuvres, interpreters and childcare will be provided. 2013 Twin Cities World Refugee Day June 15 Free live entertainment, food and artisans from around the world, community resource fair and educational displays at the Twin Cities World Refugee Day event on Saturday, June 15, 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. at the The Wellstone Center (179 Robie St. East) St. Paul, MN. Twin Cities World Refugee Day event aims to: Recognize the more than 95,000 refugees living in every corner of our state and celebrate the diversity of culture and experiences that they bring to our community. For more information visit: www.tcworldrefugeeday.org

Spring and Summer Registration at Camden Music School Now thru June 15 Spring term at Camden Music School is on now through June 15. Students may enroll at any time. Tuition will be prorated. Lessons and classes are also offered this summer. Choose from one of two 4-week terms (June NORTHSIDE ACHIEVEMENT ZONE 24 – July 18, July 22 – Northside Achievement Zone has employment opportunities. August 15) or an 8-week Check our website at the-naz.org or come in to our office located at 2123 W. Broadway Ave. Ste. 100, Mpls, MN 55421

Office Administrator SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development in St. Paul seeks an outgoing and organized Office Administrator to handle Customer Service and Clerical duties. Full-time. Call 651-225-9265 or email ross@steppingstonetheatre.org for job description and requirements.

Classified Sales Representative Insight News is looking for a Classified Sales Representative to start immediately. This is a part-time position perfect for a college student or someone looking for supplemental income. Candidate must be a motivated self-starter with the desire to grow the business. Candidate must be focused, must have the ability to work under deadlines and to meet or exceed set sales goals. Responsibilities include calling and emailing new clients and following up with past clients for classified sales. Please e-mail cover letter and resume to batalara@insightnews.com. Please: No walk-ins and NO phone calls.

Phone: 612.588.1313

term (June 24 – August 15). CMS offers vocal and instrumental lessons, Musikgarten early childhood music classes (newborn to age 8), ensembles, music theory, songwriting and more. Family discounts are available. Summer scholarship applications are due by 5pm Friday, June 14. Application online at www. camdenmusicschool.com. All ages. Excellent instructors. Joyful spirit. CMS in Camden: Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 3751 Sheridan Ave. N., 55412. CMS in Northeast Minneapolis: Grace Center for Community Life, 1500 6th St. NE, 55413. More information: 612-618-0219 or www.camdenmusicschool.com. Fix-It Clinic offer help to the unhandy June 15 Hennepin County, as part of its waste reduction efforts, is asking residents to sort through basements, closets and garages for clothing and household items that need repair. At the Fix-It Clinic, skilled volunteers will help you learn to disassemble, troubleshoot and fix your broken household items and electronics, clothing in need of mending, and more. The Fix-It Clinic is Sat. June 15: Noon – 4pm Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. The clinic is first-come, first-served – no pre-registration. Items must be carry-in (no oversized items). Please bring any tools that might be helpful, a digital camera to document the disassembly, and small boxes or bags to organize and carry home parts. This event is family-friendly. For more information, visit www.hennepin. us/fixitclinic or call 612-3483777. 17th Annual Peace Celebration June 21 Residents of the SummitUniversity and Frogtown communities have gathered on a Friday in mid-June to celebrate and promote peace and unity in their neighborhood. This popular community tradition continues and expands with the 17th Annual Community Peace Celebration. The 2013 Community Peace Celebration will be held on Friday, June 21, 2013, 2:00–6:00 p.m. at the Ober Community Center, 376 Western Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota. For questions or to reserve a table, contact Adenike Chon at 612-743-7413. The theme of the 2013 celebration is “Make Friends, Make Peace.” The event will feature free food and beverages, music and dance performances, games and activities for children and adults, information on backyard and community gardening, urban farming, an Elder’s Tent, presentations by community leaders, informational tables on peace-building, healthcare, summer youth-activities, greenjobs, community building, animal-care, sustainable and green-living, public agencies and local organizations.

LoziLu Women’s Mud Run June 22 Dirty has never been so fabulous! A filthy 5k festival bursting with obstacles, music, laughing, and mud! LoziLu Women’s Mud Run Assumed Name is the perfect girls’ 1. State the exact assumed name under day adventure for which the business is or will be conducted: all fitness levels. Lia Renee Dior Join us in Twin 2. State the address of the principal place of Cities on June business: 2533 14th Avenue South, Minne22nd to help young apolis, MN 55404 patients with cancer 3. List the name and complete street address live happier lives. of all persons conducting business under the LoziLu is unlike above Assumed Name OR if an entity, proany event you’ve vide the legal corporate, LLC, or Limited Partnership name and registered office address. ever experienced... Attach additional sheet(s) if necessary: Alicia Check your bag Renee Trice, 2533 14th Avenue South, Minwith the Valet, neapolis, MN 55404 warm-up with our professional 4. I certify that I am authorized to sign this trainers, and certificate and I further certify that I underbrowse the Fitness stand that by signing this certificate, I am subject to the penalties of perjury as set forth Farmer’s Market. in Minnesota Statues section 609.48 as if I Three on-course had signed this certificate under oath. Party Oases keep you moving Signed by: Alicia Renee Trice Date Filed: 05/10/2013 with fervor past 14 spectacular Insight News 06/03/2013, 06/10/2013

components: a community garden, opportunity to increase physical activity as well as an outdoor festival and health fair. The community garden operated totally by the youth will feature fruits and vegetables that will be available for free to members of the community. Greater

Mount Vernon has a small scale physical fitness center that provides an opportunity for youth to exercise in a safe lowcost environment supported by certified fitness instructors. The final component of G.M.V.S.OS is an outdoor festival and health fair to be held adjacent to

Fax: 612.588.2031

obstacles, such as: Hot Mess, Fishnets, Over-It, Mani-Pedi, and The Exfoliator. Upon finishing, indulge at the Snack Drawer and strut the Red Carpet where our paparazzi capture dirty pictures you’ll actually want to share! Cleanup at the Salon and be ready for an epic after-party with live entertainment, contests, and prizes. Whether you’re a firsttimer, seasoned athlete, or casual gym-goer, you’ll love this day filled with friends, smiles, and a whole lot of filthy fun! For more information or to register, please visit http://TwinCities.LoziLu. com Special $5 savings with coupon code: 5KFIT Hue-MANS 2013 Annual Health & Resource Fair June 29 Spring into Health at Hue-MANS 2013 Annual Health & Resource Fair on Saturday, June 29, 2013, 10am - 3pm at Sabathani Community Center, 310 East 38th Street Minneapolis. The Hue-MAN partnership project represents a collaboration of community partners focused on improving the health of men and promoting ethnic diversity in our community, recognizing that healthier men create healthier families and healthier communities. Hue-MAN Annual Health Fair Vendor Table Registration Fees: Health Fair Registration is $75.00 if received by June 15, 2013 and $125.00 thereafter. Registration includes booth space, 1 covered table (2.5’ by 8’) and 2 folding chairs. Add an extra table and 2 chairs for an additional $35.00. Questions about registration may be sent to Patricia Banks at patriciabanks@ cpcrc.net or by calling 612-2321598 or 612-455-4630.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES HELPING SENIORS IN MINNEAPOLIS Seniors Program of Neighborhood Involvement Program assists elders aged 60 and over in North and Southwest Minneapolis with a variety of services so that they can remain safely in their home or apartment. Our services are specialized for each resident and we strive to provide as much as possible via the assistance of volunteers. To be eligible for seniors’ services, people must live within the following boundaries: south of 44th Avenue in North Minneapolis, north of West 36th Street in Southwest Minneapolis, 35W on the east, and France Avenue on the west. For information about NIP Senior Services email seniors@ neighborhoodinvolve.org or call 612-374-3322. Our website is www.neighborhoodinvolve.org RAKE IT Spring Yard CleanUp Improve your health while helping a senior citizen in Minneapolis remain independent in their home! You choose the date and time to rake and clean up the yard. Perfect for individuals, groups, and families. Seasonal: April – November (depending upon the weather). This is a onetime fun, flexible activity on weekdays or weekends. Feel free to sign up multiple times! Supplies needed: rakes, gloves, brooms, and compostable bags. Exact location TBD in North or Southwest Minneapolis, depends upon where the senior citizen resides. Ongoing volunteer opportunities are also available. Please contact Jeanne the NIP Seniors Program, Volunteer Coordinator at srvolunteer@ neighborhoodinvolve.org or call 612-746-8549 for more information. Our website is www.neighborhoodinvolve.org West African Dance & Drum Classes African Dance w/ Whitney $12 - All classes Drop-In. Every Saturday 1:00pm 2:30pm; Every Tuesday 7:00pm - 8:30pm. at Patrick’s

community garden on June 22nd which will feature live music and dance performance, games, exercise demonstrations, healthy food giveaways and a health fair. This event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact the church office at 612-522-6052.

Email: info@insightnews.com

Cabaret, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55406. Foster Parent Information Meetings Find out about becoming a foster parent and changing a child’s life! Open information meetings are held every Friday from 10AM-11:30AM at 7625 Metro Boulevard Edina, MN 55439. Volunteers of AmericaMinnesota is looking for skilled parents to provide 6-9 months care for troubled youth in our new Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care Program (MTFC). We have kids, ages 1217, who are in need of a stable home with dedicated parents who appreciate the difficulties of childhood! Volunteers of America provides quality foster parents with lots of friendly training, 24 hour support and a monthly stipend. If you would like more information contact Jolene Swan at 952-945-4064 or ftpfostercare@voamn.org, or visit us online at voafostercare. org! GED, ELL, College Prep and skills development courses offered Minneapolis Public SchoolsAdult Education is offering free GED, ELL, College Prep and skills development courses. Prepare for GED exams; Increase Math, Reading, and Writing skills; Develop Computer skills; Job training and specific certifications; Comfortable learning environment; and Day and evening classes available! For more information, please contact staff at: Minneapolis Public School Adult Education, 1250 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis, MN, 55411 or Abe.mpls.k12.mn.us or (612) 668-1863. SUPER DUPER HANDYPERSON WANTED Help an elderly Minneapolis resident stay in their home. Assist with MINOR REPAIRS to make certain that their home is safe. Snowbirds, retirees, and trainees welcome (over the age of 18). You must have some experience to ensure that the work is done correctly (license not required). Choose your own schedule. Adult individuals, twoperson teams, and small groups welcome.Exact location TBD in North or SW Minneapolis, depends upon where the senior citizen resides. One time opportunities are also available. Please contact Jeanne the NIP Seniors Program, Volunteer Coordinator at srvolunteer@ neighborhoodinvolve.org or call 612-746-8549 for more information. Our website is www.neighborhoodinvolve.org The Council on Crime and Justice is moving temporarily! While the current location at 822 S. 3rd Street is under construction, The Council on Crime and Justice will be working at a new location in Golden Valley and expect to return in approximately 6 months. Effective October 26th, the mailing address is: Council on Crime and Justice, 1109 Zane Avenue North, Golden Valley, MN 55422. The phone numbers and email address will remain the same. If you have questions, please contact us at 612-3533000 or info@crimeandjustice. org Volunteer at Skyline Tower Conversation Group Reach out to your neighbors for an hour of coffee and conversation, Thursdays 5-6 pm! Share your stories and learn about other cultures while helping English language learners gain confidence in their language abilities. Our participants are mainly Vietnamese, Somali and Ethiopian residents of Skyline Tower at 1247 St Anthony Ave. For more information, contact lisa.vogl@commonbond.org or (651)999-7528.

Volunteer as an English Teacher with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Help adult refugees and immigrants learn the reading, writing and speaking skills needed to thrive in the U.S. Morning, afternoon or evening classes are available throughout the Twin Cities. The literacy council provides training and support. Interested? Contact volunteer@mnliteracy.org or call Allison at 651-251-9110. Or visit www.mnliteracy.org/ volunteers/opportunities/adults The Mu Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc at the U of MN is searching for former members Currently, the sorority is collecting historical information to add to it’s archives. This includes information pertaining to former Eta Chapter members (1922-1964) and Mu Rho Chapter members (1979-Present).For more information please contact the Graduate Advisor, Peggye Mezile by email: ga@akadpo. org Hazelden Offers Free Educational Opportunity Concerned about someone’s alcohol or drug use? Addressing Concerns Together (ACT), Hazelden’s new outreach program, can help. Join us for a free event to learn more about addiction, intervention, assessment, and treatment. Hazelden’s St. Paul campus, 680 Stewart Ave., St. Paul. 2nd and 4th Mon. of each month at 6pm. This is an open event and there is no need to register. If you have questions, please contact Hazelden at 800-257-7800. Free Classes for Adults The Minnesota Literacy Council, a non-profit organization, has free classes for adults at our Lake Street Learning Center at 2700 East Lake Street, 2nd floor, above Denny’s. For classes and more info, visit: http://www. mnliteracy.org/ Free Internet Access Access internet, check email, look for housing, type up resumes, job search, practice typing, learn Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. M-F 11am-2pm and 5pm-7pm. At Sabathani Community Center Room 324 310 E 38th St Mpls, MN 55409. Youth Business Club Develops Entrepreneurial Skills Kids learn with support and guidance from community. The Selby Avenue Youth Business Club is open to youth ages 9-16 who are interested in starting their own or learning more about business. The group meets the first and third Saturday of ever month from 9:30 am to noon at Golden Thyme Cafe on Selby and Milton. For more information, interested parties can visit http://selbyareacdc. org/Saybcindex.html , e-mail at SAYBC10@gmail.com or contact at: 615-964-0710. Free Lead Paint Testing If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to receive new windows through a Hennepin County grant program: • Home built before 1978 • A child (5 or under) lives in or frequently visits your home • Live in Hennepin County • Meet certain income qualifications Sustainable Resources Center have partnered with the National Center for Healthy Housing to bring a national perspective to our efforts in Minnesota. SRC will be working with public, private and nonprofit organizations throughout the State to develop the plan. This is a great opportunity to encourage and support the creation of healthy homes for all! Call Sustainable Resources Center at 612.872.3281 to schedule a free home visit! Communication available in Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. http://www.src-mn.org


insightnews.com

Insight News • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Page 11

HEALTH The LADDER: Building the next generation of healthcare providers in North Minneapolis Our Health

By Nicole Winbush MD I asked Dr. Renee Crichlow to tell me about the Ladder. She is a physician at Broadway Family Medicine and professor at University of Minnesota School of Medicine and one of the founding members of the Ladder. Here is what she had to say.

and a scholar learns”. To reinforce these principles at the beginning and end of each meeting we encourage each other to read (in addition to homework) at least 30 minutes every day to strengthen our brains. One of the most important aspects of The Ladder is ‘progressive mentorship’ meaning every member is both a member and a mentor. We are responsible for doing our best as individuals and helping the others in The Ladder do their best. We are working to develop leaders. What does this look like? For instance, kids who are in middle school are encouraged to continue their efforts by older medical scholar

successful. Everyone shared their experiences from their own level and helped each other learn from different perspectives. This is a big part of what The Ladder offers the members and is a time when they can check in with each other, celebrate their successes and receive support for their challenges. After lunch and discussion time the groups rotate together through stations that are fun and hands-on learning experiences related to some aspect of the medical field. For instance, at the May meeting the monthly theme was the Brain and Reflexes. The scholars were able to test their reaction times to neurological

Dr Winbush: What is The Ladder? Dr. Crichlow: “Our motto is ‘Lift as you climb, build as you grow’. The Ladder arises from the belief that we have within our community the ability to help each other develop to our fullest potential. The way that we do this is through encouraging one another. It is not about the adults ‘telling’ kids what to do. It is about creating an environment where we all can learn from each other. This is why the only title we use within Ladder is ‘scholar’. At The Ladder we are all scholars, working together to learn and support one another. At the meeting we all, no matter what age or level of achievement are addressed as medical scholars. At our meetings I am no longer Doctor Crichlow, I am Medical Scholar Renee. We are all equal and present to help each other grow. The Ladder members’ core principles are: “ a scholar reads, a scholar listens, a scholar teaches

The Ladder arises from the belief that we have within our community the ability to help each other develop to our fullest potential.

mentors. High school students acknowledge the hard work the middle schoolers are doing. The middle schoolers also support each other with peer to peer praise and the same middle schoolers support and encourage the 4th and 5th graders to continue to make good choices. And this type of support continues, moving up the ladder. We are building a Ladder of support for one another. Dr. Winbush: What happens at the Ladder?

Ashawna Minter

Diona Kras

Dr. Crichlow: The Ladder meets monthly, every second Saturday from 12:30 - 2:30 in the UROC Building located at the corner of Penn Ave. and Plymouth Ave. in North Minneapolis. After a brief introduction, we start each meeting with a quote that will be the basis for discussion during lunch. For example, the April meeting the quote was an African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far go together”. After introducing the quote the entire group divides into eating groups that are mixed by age. The groups eat lunch together (lunch is provided free of charge to all members), discuss what the proverb means to them and their goals and how the group can support them in their goals. In April when we discussed this quote beautiful stories emerged by scholars of all ages regarding how they felt about this quote and how helping each other would also help the individual succeed in the pursuit of their individual goals. One college student talked about how he used to study alone but found his grades were better once he had found a group of others and started studying with them. One younger scholar discussed how when hunting, animals that worked together were more

Christian Crockett and Steven Crockett

Photos: The Ladder

input and learned how to be a first responder to someone who might be having a stroke. They also learned how to find very abnormal findings on CT scans and MRIs of the brain. Dr. Winbush: Why would you try to teach students who are not in medical school these types of activities? Dr. Crichlow: Well, a few reasons. First because it is interesting and challenging and fun. Second, because when it is taught in an approachable manner anyone can learn this level of medicine and third no one is doing this alone. Each of the younger scholars has many older scholars who are there to assist them and help them learn. If they run into something they don’t yet understand, they ask one of the older scholars and they work through it together as a team. This is an important quality to develop. If you want to be successful in a medical career we have to be able to open to learning, growing and teaching to and from each other. I will tell you that the younger scholars do learn surprising things. For instance, at our April meeting we had a visiting Sports Medicine doctor holding up an x-ray of a shoulder and he asked the group what was wrong in the x ray. He was expecting one of the many medical students to speak up, but one of the seventh graders stood up and pointed out the shoulder separation injury on the x-ray. This impressed the visiting doctor a great deal and he has already told this story multiple times since. This type of challenge helps build confidence, the focus on growing and learning being more important than knowing is also a critical factor with The Ladder. We want to help all of our scholars

Elijah Whitner and Dr. Dave Olson

Fa Vang ,Pingva Lor,Hyzong Lor,Pavy Lor,Yejay Lor, Fuchi Vang and Dr. Trent Christensen to understand that to be successful and happy we must open ourselves to lifelong learning. We create a safe environment to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I want to learn’. At The Ladder all of us are always learning. One of our younger scholars Christopher Allen recently wrote to me and said the following: “The Ladder can help. They are NOT QUITTERS. If you keep coming to The Ladder every second Saturday of the month... you can trust all the people. You are just steps away to conquering your dreams in life. I also joined the Ladder because my dream goal is to be a gastroenterologist. With the help of Dr. Crichlow and other Ladder members I will learn more than is normal. I will be strong. I will dream big but start small. I have a great future ahead of me. With the help of The Ladder that future will be bright.” We are all very proud of Christopher. This is exactly the kind of character we are looking to develop in our members: the confidence to walk your path, to pursue your dreams and to feel supported in your efforts. Dr Winbush: Who attends the Ladder?

Dr. Crichlow: Anyone age 9 and up who has an interest in a health career who either lives, goes to school, or works in North Minneapolis or has family that lives or works in North Minneapolis. Also, any person in a healthcare career who is interested in helping and participating as a mentor/scholar is welcome. We have all types of scholars and most of the students are African-American or Hmong. Dr Winbush: The Ladder has been around for 10 months now. Where do you see challenges and what do you see as its future? Dr. Crichlow: We are in this for the long run and will always be building The Ladder. Our current challenge is recruiting mentors and scholars at the High School level. This is a win-win situation for high schoolers interested in going to college even if it is not in a healthcare career. This is an opportunity for them to mentor younger students. As an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota I know that this is exactly the type of activity that looks very good on an application for college. I would recommend parents and teachers who know of

high schoolers who could be potential mentors in The Ladder, to encourage their students to at least come and experience The Ladder. Students who participate consistently may receive letters of recommendation and career counselling from me and other University faculty members who are members of The Ladder. “As for the future of The Ladder, we are partnering with the Urban AHEC at The UROC and I see our future as an expanding and exciting organization that is a pipeline of support for those interested in any healthcare career or even just building a good application for college. We are committed to North Minneapolis and to each other. “Lift as you climb, build as you grow”. Please check us out at www.TheLadderMN.org. “ Dr. Nicole Winbush is also one of the founding physicians of The Ladder and you can join her and other members every second Saturday at the UROC building at 2001 Plymouth Ave. N. from 12:30-2:30 pm. There is free lunch and hands-on fun! UROC is located on bus routes 19, 32 and 7.


Page 12 • June 3 - June 9, 2013 • Insight News

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Insight News ::: 6.3.13  

News for the week of June 3, 2013. Insight News is the community journal for news, business and the arts serving the Minneapolis / St. Paul...

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